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HIV Infection Passed Via Donated Kidney: U.S. Report
Date:3/17/2011

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A recent case in New York City of HIV transmission between a living kidney donor and a transplant recipient highlights the need to revise national policy on the type and timing of HIV tests used to screen living organ donors, say the authors of a new case study.

Routine screening of organ donors for infection with the virus "has made transmission of HIV through organ transplantation rare in the United States," the researchers noted. "However, despite routine screening, transmission of HIV can be an uncommon complication of organ transplantation and is a public health concern."

They believe that transplant centers should utilize more sensitive tests to better spot donors who might carry HIV.

The report, published in the March 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, describes an investigation launched by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2010 after it was notified of a potential transplant-related HIV infection. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

The case involved an adult kidney failure patient who received a kidney transplant at a city hospital in 2009. The patient did not have HIV before the transplant and, in the year after the transplant, did not engage in any behaviors that would increase the risk of HIV infection. However, HIV infection was confirmed in the patient one year after the transplant.

The kidney donor was an adult male who underwent evaluation as a potential living donor, which revealed a previous diagnosis of syphilis and a history of sex with men. However, laboratory tests conducted during the initial evaluation 79 days before the transplant showed no evidence of HIV infection.

One year after the transplant, the donor underwent screening for sexually transmitted diseases and was found to have HIV. The transplant team was then informed that the donor
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